If you can bear the initial icy shock, here are eight reasons for getting under a cold shower – from lowering stress to giving you a better night’s sleep.
1. Boosts circulation
A cold shower will thrust your body into boosting its blood circulation, heading straight to the vital organs to keep them warm.
Improved blood circulation is directly linked to better cardiovascular health, so a cold shower will put you on the right back to keeping your heart happy.
2. Lowers stress
The surprise of an ice-cold shower promotes levels of uric acid as well as boosting the amount of Glutathione in our blood circulation, both of which are powerful tools in lowering stress levels.
What’s more, a study conducted on a group of “winter swimmers” showed that taking cold showers can help build resilience to stress in the first place. That’s because the body’s response to the cold temperatures is in itself a form of “oxidative stress”, which over time, can help strengthen the mind’s emotional resilience overall.
3. Accelerates muscle recovery
We’ve all seen athletes and rugby players dive into those giant ice baths after the big game or race, and for good reason.
But you don’t have to be a champion boxer or elite sprinter to feel the physical benefits of a cold shower.
After any workout, a blast of cold water immediately boosts the body’s circulation and also regulates the levels of lactic acid coursing through our muscles, aiding their recovery in the process.
4. Promotes fat loss
Immersing yourself in cold water can help you on your weight-loss journey.
The plunge in temperature helps activate what’s known as “brown fat”, triggering our body to burn energy and calories in order to keep us warm.
According to an NPR study, cold showers can generate 15 times the amount of brown fat in the body, helping us lose up to nine pounds in a year.
5. Promotes better sleep
In his book, The Four Hour Body, Tim Ferris claims that a regular 10-minute ice bath can lead to “incredible” sleep patterns.
But if that sounds like something for another day, then a cold shower in the evening can give you a great chance of a better night’s sleep.
6. Improves fertility
For men, cold showers have been shown to increase sperm count and boost fertility.
Conversely, research has shown that men who regularly take hot baths may struggle with their fertility, but the effects could be reversed by taking cold baths more frequently.
7. Enhances hair and skin
According to dermatologist Jessica Krant, an ice-cold shower or bath reduces the risk of us losing the protective natural oils in our skin and hair.
Cold water also helps our hair appear shiny and improves its grip on our scalps.
8. Boosts immunity
Our white blood cell count is critical to our immunity and fending off unwanted diseases and infection.
Cold showers have been shown to greatly boost the amount of white blood cells in our bloodstream and accelerate their metabolic rate.